These Bachelor Monks, I

by Lisa

on 2016-03-04

These bachelor monks think that by having their minds inured to the pleasures of higher knowledge, they’ve vanquished all their earthly desires. Well, every day students sneak glances in my direction. Sometimes I smile back, sometimes I wink, sometimes I turn my head away just as they look, sometimes I toss my hair, sometimes I bow my head and fiddle with the straps of my dress, sometimes I scowl. They hearten or dishearten accordingly. It’d make scientists proud, the way I experiment. At this point I can even usually tell if someone will look my way a second before they actually do. At first I thought this was the “confirmation bias” they were teaching us about - you know, how people think they’re superman and and telepathic and psychokinesthetic because they only notice the 1% of the time that they actually succeed - so I actually tallied and well, I actually predict correctly more than half the time. I think I could make a thesis out of this, except I have no desire to analyze the flying cows out of such a gem that life throws at me. (It is tempting, though. It would certainly inject some much-needed liveliness into those academic journals. I can imagine little acolytes taking the heavy “Social Psychology” journal from its shelf, going into a private study cubby, to check out what this oft-cited paper was all about, and then missing their dinnertimes because they’re hanging on every word. The equivalent of a romantic thriller. They’ll put the journal back on the shelf, unaware that a few minutes later another student will take it off. They’ll remember the name of the author, too, and look her up in the computer cluster at night, when no one else is around - strictly for follow-up research, of course. And maybe I could hang around on campus after I graduate, and secretly observe this process! These philosopher types are suckers for meta-analysis.) The students here, though, turn far less interesting material into theses.

Yes, I’m quite well-known because I strolled into Intro to Debate freshman year with a pink shirt that exposed my hip, and a purple miniskirt. I quite stood out from the other students in their drab greens and browns. (“Anyone can distinguish themselves by their clothing. It takes a true scholar to distinguish emself by their work.”) The professor, Dr. Flindus, called me up to the front of the class and asked me to “defend myself” as he listed off my flagrant abuses of the dress code. (Dr. Flindus, though, is not so far gone as some of the professors - he looked steadily at me as he recited - quite a good excuse to get some eye candy.) After his eloquent condemnation - I was drinking in every word; after all, you do have to learn people’s language in order seduce them - he adjusted his glasses and stared at me, waiting for my response.

“Would you agree that free speech includes the right to remain silent?” I asked. He thought very hard about it (looking at my exposed belly all the time) before he said yes.

“Then you must agree, too, that freedom of clothing includes the right to remain naked?” With that I started undoing the buttons to my blouse. Dr. Flindus reddened; this was obviously outside his rhetorical repertoire. Smartly, I decided to take it no further than this. “On second thought, I refuse to disrobe in front of those who obviously cannot appreciate the human body,” I said as I took my seat.

At the end of the class, I’d found several notes dropped into my open bookbag, from students who wrote that they, indeed, appreciated the human body.

> Part 2

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